New Delhi: India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru will continue to occupy maximum space at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) at Teen Murti, as the upcoming space for all other 13 Prime Ministers of the country will shrink to half the original size.

In 2018, the NMML had proposed a museum for all former prime ministers of the country at the Teen Murti Bhawan complex, which currently houses the Jawaharlal Nehru memorial.

Interestingly, however, the new museum for all former Prime Ministers at Teen Murti will not house Nehru. The NMML, which was established in the memory of India’s first prime minister, has preserved some rooms as they were at the time of Nehru’s death.

Sources told MyNation, after a detailed project report (DPR) and escalating costs, the museum of other PMs will be smaller by 10,000 sq m.

The decision comes amidst the controversy surrounding the museum, wherein the Congress had alleged that the BJP was trying to dilute Nehru's legacy.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a letter to prime Minister Narendra Modi, had urged to leave the Jawaharlal Nehru memorial complex “undisturbed” out of respect for history and heritage. 

Reacting to the critique, NMML officials had clarified that exhibiting photos, speeches of other Prime Ministers would not harm Nehru's legacy.

The new proposal to downsize the area of the new museum has arrived when the work on the project has already started. Officials claim that, since the new museum would be using modern technology, a new DPR was prepared, which led to the reduction in size.

The original proposal for the museum stood at 20,000 sq m. It would have cost the exchequer Rs 271 crore.

Since the size of the project has been reduced, the cost will come down too. The fresh cost estimate for the same has been pegged at Rs 225 crore and has now been forwarded to the finance department for approval.

“The decision was taken keeping in mind not just the use of technology but also the surrounding environment. Due to the reduction in size, even the cost has come down. The reduction has nothing to do with the controversy over the museum," said a senior official, the director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

The total area of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, which also includes Nehru Planetarium, stands at 23 acre approximately. Of this, Nehru memorial and museum, which is dedicated to India's first PM, is spread over 5000 sq m. This will remain unaffected even after the construction of the new museum.

“Since already there has been a lot of space allocated to the Nehru Museum, the new museum will house all the remaining prime ministers," officials added.

The construction of the new museum is expected to be completed by mid-2020.